Neck pain occurs any time your neck is hurting. This is a common issue with many underlying causes.
Your neck has a big job. It’s responsible for holding up your head, which weighs as much as a bowling ball (about 11 lbs). The bones, muscles, and ligaments at the top of your spine support your head.
Over one-quarter of American adults can tell you that things like bad posture or sleeping wrong can make your neck hurt. Typically, neck pain isn’t a symptom of more serious health issues.
When your neck is hurting, it’s quite possible that you also have other symptoms, which may include:
· Pain that grows worse when you hold your head in certain positions while doing tasks like working on your computer or driving your vehicle
· Tight or spasming muscles
· Issues with moving your head or neck
There are many different things that can cause these issues, including:
· Injuries caused by playing sports or a bad fall
· Carrying a heavy bag or purse on your shoulder
· A herniated (aka slipped) disk
· Poor posture
· Gritting your teeth
· A car accident in which you got whiplash
· Spinal stenosis: When the spaces within your spine become narrowed
· Poor sleep habits
· Collapsed or fractured vertebra, oftentimes related to osteoporosis
· Pinched nerves
· Repetitive motion
There are several times when you should call your doctor about your neck pain, including if it:
· Is severe
· Grows increasingly worse
· Doesn’t respond to treatment
· Includes pain, numbness, or tingling in your arms and legs
When you talk to your doctor they’ll want to know:
· When the pain started
· If you’ve sustained an injury
· If it makes you feel better or worse when you move your neck in certain ways
· If you have any numbness or weakness in your arms or hands
· If coughing or sneezing makes your neck hurt worse
Your doctor has many ways of figuring out what’s wrong. This includes ordering a blood test, X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or EMG (electromyography).
Your doctor may recommend several different ways of easing your pain, including:
· Muscle relaxants
· Traction therapy
· Physical therapy
· A padded neck collar
· Ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen
· An ice pack for the first two or three days then moist heat (e.g. a hot shower, a moist heating pad)
· Neck stretching exercises
· Chiropractic care
· Massage therapy
Once treated your neck should stop hurting within a couple of days. In rare situations, you may need surgery or cortisone shots.
One of the best ways to fix your neck pain is by fixing your posture. When you’re sitting or standing your shoulders should be located directly over your hips and your head should be kept straight. Sometimes you may need to adjust your chair at work so that your computer monitor is kept at eye level. You may also want to invest in an ergonomic desktop to help you get your computer monitor at eye level. Also, make sure that you’re taking frequent breaks.
When you’re talking on your phone, make sure you don’t tuck it between your ear and your shoulder. Instead, you should either use a headset or speakerphone.
If you wake up with a stiff neck, it’s time to get a new pillow. You want one that’s either flat or has built-in neck support.
When you’ve tried these remedies for neck pain and still find yourself suffering from it, it’s time to seek some help. If you live in Tampa, FL, you should seek help from the Genesis Medical Clinic. They’ve helped many people over the years, you should be next so contact them today.
Picture Credit: freepik